"Once I heard Eric Church, I was like, this is something I can relate to and if he can do that and he's from here, I can do that," he says in the clip. "That's where the fire caught spark"

By Tricia Despres
January 08, 2021 12:25 PM
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Professionally, Luke Combs has had many a hero throughout his life, especially ones in country music. But some, in fact, come straight from the wrestling mat.

In a PEOPLE exclusive clip from the brand-new season of the USA Network celebrity interview series Straight Up Steve Austin, the 30-year-old country hitmaker gets to spend time with another one of his heroes: WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.

"I grew up a Stone Cold fan," Combs tells PEOPLE exclusively. "To be able to spend some quality time with him was something I could have never imagined. We had some downtime where we shared some stories and got to know each other on a personal level which was pretty awesome to me."

"He's an incredible guy," he adds. "The whole day, the whole experience was awesome."

Luke Combs and Steve Austin
| Credit: USA NETWORK

Indeed, one of the highlights of the experience looks to have been the muddy joyride that Combs got to go on with Austin on the episode, which will serve as the first episode for the show's second episode on Monday, Jan. 11.

Granted, it wasn't all fun and games between Austin and Combs. In fact, prior to embarking on their messy ride, Combs can be seen in the exclusive PEOPLE clip getting introspective with the wrestling champion, especially when they discussed Combs' early days in Nashville.

Steve Austin and Luke Combs
| Credit: USA Network

In one shocking story, Combs reflected on the day that he came to Music City to pitch some of his songs to music executives — songs that have since turned into chart-toppers such as "Hurricane," "When It Rains It Pours," "She Got the Best of Me" and "One Number Away."

"This person was like, 'I don't think you are ever going to be an artist and I think you need to write better songs' … and I was okay with that," remembered Combs as Austin shakes his head in disbelief. "It made me hungrier to go, 'OK, I do need to go out and get better and I do need to write better songs.'"

Combs also took the time to reflect on another one of his heroes: fellow country singer and Appalachian State University alum Eric Church.

Luke Combs and Eric Church
| Credit: Getty (2)

"A guy who lived on my floor brought in an Eric Church CD and he said, 'This guy went to college here, you should check him out,'" Combs said in the clip. "Once I heard Eric, I was like, this is something I can relate to and if he can do that and he's from here, I can do that. That's where the fire caught spark."

And what a spark it continues to be.

Combs finished off 2020 taking home both "Male Vocalist of the Year" and "Album of the Year" for his platinum-certified What You See Is What You Get at the CMA Awards. And from the sounds of it, he's just getting started.

"I still feel some of my strongest stuff is yet to come out," Combs admits to Austin in the clip.

Luke Combs and Steve Austin
| Credit: USA Network

In addition to Combs, second season guests will include stand-up comedian Bert Kreischer, NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre, WWE's Charlotte Flair, hip hop icon Ice-T, actor and host Joel McHale, JackassSteve-O and actress Tiffany Haddish.

Straight Up Steve Austin airs Mondays at 11 p.m. on USA Network, starting Jan. 11